ATI, BAR Aim for Stronger RDE Complementation

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On behalf of the ATI, Information Services Division chief Antonieta Arceo expresses gratitude to BAR, led by Director Nicomedes Eleazar (right), for their continuous support.

BAGUIO CITY, Cordillera Administrative Region—With the government’s thrust to increase investment on research and development (R&D) to improve farm productivity, representatives from the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) convened to draw up interventions to strengthen the complementation of the R&D and extension functions in the agriculture sector.

“Agricultural R&D, to a large extent, exists separately from extension. R&D is crucial to develop knowledge and new technologies while the role of extension is critical in facilitating the adoption of new innovations at the grassroots level. A seamless connection between these communities is desirable in promoting technology-driven productivity,” BAR Director Nicomedes Eleazar said in his opening speech.

With access to appropriate technologies being still a constraint in the rural areas, Eleazar underscored the need to bridge the gap between those who have the technologies and those who need them most.

“We should not just deliver vital information to our farmers, but also see to it that they are enabled to convert such information into knowledge-based action,” he furthered.

ATI Information Services Division chief Antonieta Arceo spoke of the past collaborations of the two bureaus including the development of e-Learning courses and for the implementation of the Rice Crop Manager, thanking BAR for their continuous support to ATI programs.

“We cannot stand alone that is why we work with R&D agencies and institutions such as BAR in identifying content for our training programs. We are very grateful for this workshop where, finally, after so many years of working together, we can sit down to unify our strategies,” she said.

Among the interventions identified to ensure sustained RDE complementation is the creation of a technical working group (TWG) composed of representatives from both bureaus. This TWG will lead the coordination of RDE activities of BAR and ATI, for which a protocol or mechanism will be developed.

The TWG will also be tasked to identify possible areas of convergence for the two bureaus including BAR’s existing Community-based Participatory Action Research program and National Technology Commercialization Program. A knowledge management (KM) framework for the RDE continuum will also be created based on the operational KM frameworks being used by both bureaus.

Filma Calalo, PhD and Virginia Cardenas, PhD from the University of the Philippines-Los Baños, and e-Learning and KM expert Jose Rey Alo served as resource persons and facilitator, respectively, during the workshop. They stressed the need to institutionalize RDE complementation to ensure access to resources and sustainability of the programs and activities that will be identified.

A total of 25 staff from BAR and ATI took part in the workshop which was held in this city on June 25-27, 2018.